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Elderly Dog Care

  • Posted on December 10, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    With gifts to wrap, meals the plan, and lists to complete, it is a fun but overwhelming time of year. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, my house turns into Santa's workshop with gift wrap, tape and ribbon on the dining room table; a tree full of festive decorations in the living room; and a guest room hiding spot for super-secret toys. With all of the crazy happening, it is easy to forget the pet hazards that all of this holiday fun leaves behind.

    Pet Safety: Holiday Hazards for Dogs #PoochPawty Pet Safety: Holiday Hazards for Dogs #PoochPawty

    My furbaby is an old guy who lays around most of the day, gets up to eat and has to be coaxed outside to potty. He doesn't play much and doesn't get into too much trouble anymore. BUT - this time of year he rolls the age-clock back and turns into a puppy. I don't know why - maybe it is just the hustle and bustle that gets him excited, but once every year we get blindsided and come home to a living room disaster reminding us of the dangers this time of year brings.

    This weekend we came home to candy wrappers ALL OVER! St. Nick arrived on Friday, treats were opened on Saturday morning, and then we left for the parade. That furmonster tore into packages of peanuts and wrappers of taffy - Thankfully it wasn't anything on the list of holiday hazards!

    Please, share this list so everyone know of the holiday dangers in their home. It is a good reminder of what to keep away from your dog and a great reference in case an accident happens so you know the signs and symptoms.

    For our complete list on safe and harmful people foods, click here.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Christmas & Winter, Halloween, Fall & Thanksgiving and was tagged with Pet Safety, Dog Training, Elderly Dog Care

  • Posted on March 14, 2014 by Randi McMorran

    anti botox brigade
    emdot / Foter / CC BY

    Moving is a nightmare! It’s no fun for anyone, including your pup. Dogs depend on stability and familiarity, so a dramatic change in location will shake him up a little. There are a couple things you can do to make the move a little easier on your dog.

    Keep his things – You may think a new home deserves new items, but keep your dog’s same bed, crate, bowls and toys. There’s already enough change for your pup! Having these familiar items around will comfort your dog and make transition much easier.

    Keep him safe – While moving in and out, keep your dog in a safe place. You don’t want him to get loose or get in the way when moving large items. Place your pup in a closed room with toys, food and water, or in a crate where he can watch the action.

    Keep his routine – Stay on the same schedule for feeding, walking and bedtime. Also, keep the same rules in your new house. If he wasn’t allowed on the furniture before, he should be allowed now.  Don’t try to teach new commands either; they need to stick with what they know while they adjust to the new surroundings.

    Keep your cool – Once you’re in your new home, your pooch may be a little confused and have some accidents. This is not out of spite or anger towards you; they simply don’t know where to go or what to do in a new place. So stay calm and don’t scold your dog.

    Moving is challenging for both you and your dog.  Just remember that they are part of this as well and also can be stressed in the situation.  Take care of your pup and make sure their needs are also being met in all of the commotion.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Elderly Dog Care

  • Posted on February 20, 2014 by Yvette Falkner

    In the doghouse...again
    maxymedia / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

    Did you know that when your dog gets older he may start to suffer from separation anxiety? Unfortunately this winter our lab has all of a sudden taken up barking at us on a constant basis when he can see us in the house. He has an outside kennel and he has always enjoyed the time outside on his own. After talking with other K-9 owners, researching the web and ruling out other factors I am sad to hear my boy is getting old and is begging for more attention. We have moved him in the house the past several months and he seems to be much more comfortable in our presence as well as out of the cold. We did attempt to leave him outside for a family trip several weeks ago when the weather was warmer and unfortunately he escaped the kennel. Our neighbor also mentioned he was barking and upset for several hours after we left. Thankfully the neighbor noticed he had got out of his kennel yet again and put him in our house. I think it is time to hire a dog sitter that will check in much more often rather than his visit of 1x per day by a family member or neighbor. Making changes in your family to accommodate your older pet is not easy, but we are willing to do anything to make him more comfortable and finally hiring him a buddy may be the best thing. I have included a basic list of several signs your dog may be suffering from that could possibly be separation anxiety.

    Signs of an older dog with Separation Anxiety:

    Accidents when left alone

    Barking and Howling out of the norm

    A new found joy in digging, destruction of your flower bed or personal items

    Escaping from the usual dog kennel or home

    Pacing or uneasy shaking

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties and was tagged with Elderly Dog Care

  • Posted on January 20, 2014 by Meeko ThePooch

    Amberghinni
    ucumari / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

    This week we took a trip to the Vet and received the unfortunate news that our old dog needs to be taking a medication once a day now. For any other dog owner this may be ok since their dog loves treats. For us, not exactly. Our dog loves treats, but he is the rawhide bone type of guy, not the mushy treats that make it easy to shove medication inside. It is officially time for us to get creative! I did some searching online to find some ideas on how to sneak pills and wanted to share some tips with you too!

    1. Our dog LOVES fetch. He is crazy obsessed to be 100% honest.  I felt a bit silly to not think of this myself- but they said to simply smash the pill into even a piece of bread for the dog to “catch.” Each website stated to use more than one “treat” to play the catch game and simply sneak the pill into one of the treats you toss. Great idea for us!
    2. The smellier the food, the better. Think liver pâté or a stinky cheese like Limburger cheese and sneak the pill inside making for a smelly treat to eat. Also simply using a piece of sandwich cheese, or you can use a small portion of meat with some water and simply mush up together making a tasty treat for your dog.
    3. They also do have some medication that you can request to be made to taste like treats vs. the not so pleasant medication taste. You can also use a plain gelcap to hinder the taste that you can pick up at your vet office and simply lubricate it to make it easy to swallow.
    4. I also found a very informative video where a Vet shows how to easily give a medication to a dog. 

    I wish you the best on your journey giving your pets pills as well. Not an easy trick to master, but thankfully he is doing well so far with getting cheese treats and playing “catch” the medicine!

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Dog Training, Elderly Dog Care

  • Posted on January 7, 2014 by Meeko ThePooch

    Friends of Meeko the Pooch: Blog Posts #PuppyShowers #DogBirthdayParties #PuppyPawties

    Elderly Dog Care #DogBirthdayParty #PuppyPawtyToday I got out of my crate and felt like a really.really.old.dog. Ugh, I hate getting out of bed, but today was worse than others. I have noticed the last couple weeks I am not feeling dog gone friendly either. Normally when I hear Pa in the work truck I am so excited I can’t contain myself. Today when I heard him roll in front of the house I didn’t want to move. I continued to lay right next to my crate until I heard him come in the house and holler my name. I again couldn’t find the strength to move. He finally came and got me and loaded me in the truck and unfortunately I noticed we are not heading towards the shop…we are on the way to the vet. Ugh, hope he has treats…   Vet Porter says I have arthritis and this is what is causing all this pain. He said I am in good shape and not overweight (I did my best over the holidays) so he said he was going to put me on an anti-inflammatory. Hopefully this will help. Just in case you can’t get out of bed either, here is a couple tips for your owners on arthritis.

    Signs that your dog may have arthritis from arthritis.org.:

    • Favoring a limb
    • Difficulty sitting or standing
    • Sleeping more
    • Seeming to have stiff or sore joints
    • Hesitant to jump, run or climb stairs
    • Weight gain
    • Decreased activity or less interest in play
    • Attitude or behavior changes
    • Being less alert

    Treatment for Arthritis in Dogs: To start you will want to make sure your dog is at a healthy weight and getting enough exercise. Your Vet may suggests treatments such as an anti-inflammatory or pills/food that contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate or Omega fatty acids- they have shown in combination they help with arthritis. Most of all keeping your pet comfortable and as active as you can will help with overall soreness. *Please do not give your pet any human medication without talking to your vet first.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties and was tagged with Elderly Dog Care, Hank's Point of View

  • Posted on December 3, 2013 by Yvette Falkner

    Elderly Dog Care #DogBirthdayParty #PuppyPawtyEvery morning our dog anxiously awaits me letting him outside for his potty break. I usually have enough time to get dressed and then head back to the door to find him waiting to be let back in. Unfortunately, this morning he wasn't there. I was in the backyard hollering away and unfortunately, he still didn’t come back. After an hour of searching the neighborhood, I had to go home empty-handed. Worse, I had to go to work not knowing where he was. Luckily, he keeps his collar on and I knew as soon as he made friends with someone I would hopefully get a call.

    By lunch I had a neighbor call and said he was visiting at her house. I raced to go get him. When I got there, I hollered from across the street for him to get in the truck like normal and no movement. I hollered again, and nothing. The polite neighbor made the comment “I noticed he doesn't hear unless you are right next to him.” As I approached him and talked to him, he realized it was me. Shocked, I put him in the vehicle and thanked her for calling and we went home. Sure enough after we were home I tested the distance between us and unfortunately, the neighbor was right, he clearly couldn’t hear me from far away.

    Now it wasn’t right for him to run out of the yard, but he definitely didn’t hear me calling him. The last couple days, for his safety and ours, he is on a tie out when we let him out in the backyard. He can still hear us from this distance and it keeps him safe. We live in a nice, quiet neighborhood, but occasionally have people drive by and all I could think about is if he can’t hear me, he can’t hear a car either. My husband and I discussed the situation that night and we realized he unfortunately has been losing his hearing for the last couple months. Sharing our stories, we realized this is not new.

    Again, here we go denial. We both are head over heels in love
    with our dog and we tend to overlook his poor eyesight and hearing, strange behaviors, etc. Now realizing our best buddy needs more attention than ever, we will do whatever it takes to make sure he is safe!

    Here are some helpful tips of how to help your dog with his hearing loss - located under “Help for Hearing Loss in Older Pets:”

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/07/07/hearing-and-vision-loss-on-pets.aspx

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties and was tagged with Elderly Dog Care, Hank's Point of View

  • Posted on November 5, 2013 by Yvette Falkner

    Elderly Dog Care #DogBirthdayParty #PuppyPawtySo here is the real question… When is your dog considered old? I am in denial here. I want to think my dog is still a young pup ready to run behind the combine all harvest long. Unfortunately, my plan is not the same as his. He would rather ride in the cab and not gobble up his 15th ear of corn as a treat. I have noticed that he has changed and it is a tough transition for both of us. I wanted to offer some quick facts on how to tell if your dog is aging and some basic steps on how to help you, your pooch, and your family, ease through this new road ahead of you.

    The top signs your dog is aging is just as we would suspect. First, and the most obvious, is turning gray. This usually occurs around his mouth, head and chest. Also, finding more lumps and bumps when giving him a brush is common. You may also notice trouble walking, or not being as playful as he once used to be. Hearing and eyesight tend to dwindle as well, causing him to possibly slip when jumping in the truck or not hearing you the first couple times you call for him. Possibly “zoning out” and not realizing what his next task is, maybe avoiding playing fetch all together because it is just too much work. As far as differences in the house or in his kennel, unfortunately he may have an accident occasionally or may not tolerate the kids roughhousing with him as he once did. He may also want to rest instead of being in the usual hustle and bustle of the kitchen.

    What can you do to help your pooch through this transition? Purchasing a comfy bed and creating his own space will help ease the tension. Still include him in as many activities as you can – purchasing ramps, carpet runners and avoiding stairs all together are some of the easiest solutions to still keep him included in your home or vehicle. Weather also plays a key factor. As we approach the cooler months, especially during storms, please make sure your dog is inside away from the elements. Weather changes are tough on his body and will cause more aches and pains with the hot/cold changes.

    As for making the family aware and helping them transition – This is the tough part. My children are devastated that he now needs his own space in the laundry room. “But why?” Is the question I hear almost daily from our 1-year-old and 3-year-old. We have briefly explained that he is simply getting old and may need to take a break more often now. It still means we can play with him, but when he heads the other direction you need to leave him be. Maybe ask the kids what they would like to do to make his life more comfortable, such as decorating his new space with pictures, including him in movie night for snuggles, possibly having him in the house more often, like we have chosen to do. Most of all, filling your home full of love and laughter like normal and keeping the change minimal for your pooch is key.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties and was tagged with Elderly Dog Care

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